Things to do in London with toddlers

London attractions for toddlers

As you’d expect from a world capital, there are a million and one things to do in London - even if you’ve got toddlers in tow!

  1. A day at the park
  2. See a children’s theatre show
  3. Discover the Science Museum
  4. Go to Coram’s Fields
  5. Be amazed at the Natural History Museum

From letting little legs loose in the capital’s parks to getting hands on at the Science Museum and seeing a live children’s theatre show, there are endless things to do in London for toddlers. And while your kids wear themselves out, the good news is that there’s usually a café or exhibit on-site to entertain the adults, too.

1. A day at the park

London is full of glorious green spaces, most of them with dedicated children’s playgrounds - making a day at the park one of the best things to do in London with toddlers for free. Among the best are Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington gardens, with a huge pirate ship and a sensory trail; St James’ Park, where your toddler can while away the hours spotting pelicans; and Hampstead Heath, full of wild woodland trails to delight the tots. There’s plenty to keep toddlers amused at the park, from the local wildlife and open space to the safe bet of the playground.

Top toddler tip: Be sure to bring enough snacks to stay for the day.

For the parents: Most London parks have good cafés: treat yourself to a coffee and a cake while the children play.

2. See a children’s theatre show

London’s theatre scene is buzzing, and not just for adults - there are a range of fantastic children’s shows in the UK capital, too. The Unicorn Theatre is a dedicated children’s theatre, with a stellar programme of imaginative shows aimed at young minds from two to 21. All productions are given an age recommendation, so keep an eye out for what might suit your tot. The Unicorn Theatre is located in buzzing London Bridge, and the area has plenty of family-friendly hotels, too: search London holidays today. Other theatres with excellent children’s productions include the Little Angel Theatre in Islington (with enchanting puppet shows), the Half Moon Young People’s Theatre in Tower Hamlets and Jacksons Lane Arts Centre in Highgate.

Top toddler tip: If you think you’ll have to leave your seat regularly, pick one on the aisle.

For the parents: Sweeten the deal with some street food from Borough Market before or after the show.

3. Discover the Science Museum

Easily one of the best things to do in London with toddlers for free, the Science Museum is a firm favourite with children of all ages. Galleries dedicated to themes such as space, robotics and technology are guaranteed to captivate toddlers, while the interactive Wonderlab (admission fee) has hands-on learning across seven zones. Relaxed play sessions for toddlers (called “Experitots”) are held by the museum each term - keep your eye on the website for details.

Top toddler tip: Experitots sessions last an hour and are for children aged 1–4.

For the parents: With so much going on at the Science Museum, you’ll find exhibitions that captivate the whole family.

4. Go to Coram’s Fields

Seven acres in Bloomsbury is given over to Coram’s Fields, a children’s playground full of imagination. Comprising a full playground, sand pits, a pets corner and duck pond, a paddling pool and a nursery, toddlers will be kept amused for hours on end.

Top toddler tip: Coram Fields also has a sensory and music area, and a wheelchair-friendly play area, too.

For the parents: There’s a lawn area, too, where you can set up camp. As usual, a picnic wouldn’t go amiss.

5. Be amazed at the Natural History Museum

From the first time they walk through the doors and look up at a mammoth blue-whale skeleton, children big and small will be enthralled by the Natural History Museum. With a staggering 80 million items, toddlers are most likely to be interested in the dinosaur and animal exhibits. Further highlights include an earthquake simulator and a roaring T-rex - though less confident tots may need some reassurance. Don’t miss a stop at the museum shop, which has a fantastic collection of wildlife prints, educational materials, dinosaur-themed board games and children’s clothing.

Top toddler tip: Convene with nature at the museum’s outdoor gallery: the Wildlife Garden. It’s open from 11am–3.30pm.

For the parents: The shop is a great place to pick up birthday and Christmas presents.

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